Friday, June 5, 2009

Starting Cria Watch, again

We are basically starting cria watch on Kateri. The ticker down there gives her just over a month (1 month 5 days). I generally start watching a month in advance (since the window of delivery can be a month early to a month late). Last year Kateri delivered on day 341. Victoria on day 346. (based on some quick computations I think those are accurate). The tickers below are based on 350 days, so likely it will be close to a month yet, but we'll keep a closer eye on Kateri just in case it's earlier. I do know she's getting more ornery. When I brought food out to the girls last night she started spitting because she was so concerned she might not get a bowl. She always gets a bowl of grain, and spitting makes it hard for her to eat (that stomach acid in the mouth does not work well when they try to eat). But, I think it has more to do with pregnancy ornery hormones than anything else.

Kateri is bred to SHVN The Buccaneer, who is now owned by Full Tilt Alpacas. He's a true black and the 1/2 brother to our own Victoria. Their mom, Hana, has produced some incredible award winning cria. We hope the combination of Kateri's lineage and The Buccaneer will create one awesome cria.

Here's Buc:

Kateri is a light brown alpaca. Given what we've learned about color genetics, every alpaca has 2 main color genes (there are also dilution genes and spot genes but for simplicity, all alpacas have 2 main color genes). One color they exhibit as their color, the other color they can pass on to their babies, but they do not necessarily show it (some show a secondary color in ways like having black tipping on their extremities, but often times you do not see the secondary color at all). For the most part whatever is the lighter color is the one they exhibit, they carry the darker color that they can pass on. We believe Kateri carries the brown gene and a black gene (her mother is true black). A true black has 2 black genes, so her mom had to pass one on to Kateri. The Buccaneer is true black, so in any case he will pass on a black gene. We have a 50% chance of having a true black cria (if Kateri passes on her black gene) or a 50% chance of a brown cria (if Kateri passes on her brown gene, the brown will be exhibited and The Buccaneer's black gene will be it's secondary color). I have a feeling this cria is going to be a boy. I base this solely on the fact that Kateri is carrying this baby differently than she did last year. She had a girl last year. We found Sancha carried her girl different than a boy, but who knows, that may have been luck ;) I'm predicting a true black boy, but we'll see.

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